Hardware vs. Software

Hardware
Software

Software is a general term used to describe a collection of computer programs, procedures, and documentation that perform some task on a computer system. Practical computer systems divide software systems into three major classes: system software, programming software, and application software, although the distinction is arbitrary and often blurred. Software is an ordered sequence of instructions for changing the state of the computer hardware in a particular sequence. It is usually written in high-level programming languages that are easier and more efficient for humans to use (closer to natural language) than machine language. High-level languages are compiled or interpreted into machine language object code. Software may also be written in an assembly language, essentially, a mnemonic representation of a machine language using a natural language alphabet.

Hardware is best described as a device that is physically connected to the computer or something that can be physically touched. A CD-ROM, monitor, printer, and video card are all examples of computer hardware. Without any hardware your computer would not exist and software would have nothing to run on. It is the physical part of a computer, including the digital circuitry, as distinguished from the computer software that executes within the hardware.

There are several differences between computer hardware and software.

Comparison chart

Hardware

Software

Definition Devices that are required to store and execute (or run) the software. Collection of instructions that enables a user to interact with the computer. Software is a program that enables a computer to perform a specific task, as opposed to the physical components of the system (hardware).
Types Input,storage,processing,control, and output devices. System software, Programming software, and Application software.
Examples CD-ROM, monitor, printer, video card, scanners , label makers, routers , and modems. Quickbooks, Adobe Acrobat, Winoms-Cs, Internet Explorer , Microsoft Word , Microsoft Excel
Function Hardware serve as the delivery system for software solutions. The hardware of a computer is infrequently changed, in comparison with software and data, which are “soft” in the sense that they are readily created, modified, or erased on the comput To perform the specific task you need to complete. Software is generally not needed to for the hardware to perform its basic level tasks such as turning on and reponding to input.
Inter dependency Hardware starts functioning once software is loaded. To deliver its set of instructions, Software is installed on hardware.
Failure Hardware failure is random. Hardware does have increasing failure at the last stage. Software failure is systematic. Software does not have an increasing failure rate.
Durability Hardware wears out over time. Software does not wear out over time. However, bugs are discovered in software as time passes.
Nature Hardware is physical in nature. Software is logical in nature.

Contents: Hardware vs Software


Type

Hardware is a physical device something that you’re able to touch and see. For example, the computer monitor you’re viewing this text on or the mouse you’re using to navigate is considered computer hardware. Software is a program that enables a computer to perform a specific task, as opposed to the physical components of the system (hardware).

Function

Software performs the specific task that requires completion by giving the ordered set of instructions to complete it.

Hardware serve as the delivery system for software solutions.

Examples

Examples of Hardware types include a CD-ROM, monitor, printer, video card etc. While some examples of software can be Internet Explorer, Windows etc.

Interdependancy

Hardware cannot function till software is loaded and software is installed in hardware to set the programs in action.

Firewalls

Firewalls can be both for Hardware and Software. The most popular firewall choice is a software firewall which are installed on the computer (like any software) and can be customized and allow control over its function and protection features. Hardware firewalls are typically found in broadband routers.

Changes

The hardware of a computer is infrequently changed, in comparison with software and data, which are “soft” in the sense that they are readily created, modified, or erased on the computer. With technological changes, software changes take place faster than hardware changes.

Hardware and software work together in digital devices and systems to provide computerized functionality. Hardware includes the physical components, such as the motherboard, chips, memory, and hard drives, while software includes the programs that run on the hardware. Ergo, a computer is hardware, while an operating system such as Microsoft XP is the software that makes the hardware functional. Though hardware and software are most often associated with computers, software also runs on other hardware, such as cell phones, Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) units, medical equipment, and air traffic control system. Without any type of software the computer would be useless. For example, one wouldn’t be able to interact with the computer without a software Operating System.

Video explaining the differences

References

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